By: Brandon Flowers | Follow me on Twitter @BKFlowers1
The Boston Bruins have always been a staple in the National Hockey League. For the past decade, they have been near the forefront of the league when it comes to standings in the regular season. What more could you ask for from an original six team? Many teams have either been near the top of the league or at the bottom when it comes to total points at the end of the regular season, whereas the Bruins have always been right around the same position in the pecking order.
Many things can be the cause of this steadiness for the Boston Bruins over the past few years, namely the players and the coaching/management staff. The Bruins have played with a very good group of players over the past few seasons thanks to the management team finding a diamond in the rough type players in the draft and surrounding them with other well-rounded players. Will, this team that Boston has kept together, barring some minor additions, be able to keep this momentum going for the 2020-2021 season?
Going into next season, there is still some uncertainty when it comes to the start date and how many games will be played during the regular season. After signing head coach Bruce Cassidy to a multi-year extension last September, the Bruins management has faith in their head coach, and rightfully so. Bruce has guided the Bruins to the playoffs in the past 4 consecutive seasons. He also won the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year during the 2019-2020 season, as the B’s had the best record in the NHL (44-14-11, .714 points percentage).
Many other teams have gotten better and younger throughout the offseason, while the Bruins have only added some minor pieces to their slowly aging core. Many of the teams at the top of the Eastern Conference last season will be in the same place come 2020-2021. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburgh Penguins are all teams that will be scratching on the Bruins heels to be President Trophy champs.
Meanwhile, some up-and-coming young teams will be looking to make a big push for the playoffs and possibly upsetting some other teams along the way. The refreshed New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and the “Bunch of Jerks” Carolina Hurricanes will all be gunning for the playoffs with their young group of players.
The Bruins have lost some depth this past offseason in the form of Torey Krug, fourth-liner Joakim Nordström, as well as Zdeno Chara, who still remains unsigned. The B’s did add some scoring depth help upfront with Craig Smith coming over from the Nashville Predators. With the news that Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak will be missing time at the start of next season, which the NHL is still undecided on a start date, some other key players will need to step up in their absence.
There is always the option that GM Don Sweeney can go out and sign a free agent to add scoring up front, Mike Hoffman still remains unsigned, or Don Sweeney can also look at making a trade to bolster the rotation. The Bruins are still primed to be an excellent hockey team next season, with Stanley Cup aspirations. Their core is getting older, so now is the time to make a run at the Stanley Cup. The Bruins will most likely take a step back this upcoming season with other teams being very good as well, but look for them to have a second or third-place finish in the Atlantic Division.